EKRE submit majority of tax draft bill amendments

MPs sitting in the Riigikogu during the deadlock in May 2023.
MPs sitting in the Riigikogu during the deadlock in May 2023. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Over 1,000 amendments were submitted to the Riigikogu's Finance Committee in relation to four draft tax bills and over 80 percent were drawn up by EKRE.

Almost 900 amendments were handed in by EKRE, the largest opposition party, followed by 124 by Isamaa and 12 from the Center Party by the 5.30 p.m. deadline on Wednesday.

The opposition parties want to stop the legislation for Income Tax, VAT, excise duty on alcohol, tobacco and fuel, and gambling from passing by stalling the process with amendments.

"We will not allow the government to deepen the population crisis or impoverish our people. We will shift parliamentary obstruction into overdrive, try to hold up the government's bills during their second readings. Amendment proposals aimed at five different bills include both constructive and disruptive ideas," EKRE Chairman Martin Helme said earlier this week.

Committee Chairman Annely Akkermann (Reform) said in a statement the group will review the proposals on Friday (June 2).

"The analysis is based on the principle of how to move towards a balanced budget in order to increase government revenue. Improving the fiscal position requires swift action in a difficult public finance environment. In addition to the IMF, the government's policies have also been supported by the European Commission, Bank of Estonia, and the Fiscal Council," she said. 

Akkermann said the government's changes will simplify the tax system, keep the tax rate below the European Union average, and effects people with higher incomes.

Riigikogu opposition parties first launched obstruction efforts in the second week of May.

They criticized the coalition for hurrying bills through parliament, lumping different pieces of draft legislation together in so-called cluster bills, and planning to tie them to a confidence vote in the government.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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